Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Review: Sorceline by Sylvia Douye

I've been looking forward to today's read. It comes from a French author, who already has several successful graphic novel series...and this is one of them. It's now coming out in May in English. I believe the series (in French) already has four books in the series. So, we'll have something to look forward to, hopefully, in the future. 

It was the half-smile on the girl with the wonderful, fantastical creatures around her, which caught my attention. And the lamp with the fireflies...or, probably, fairies? Anyway, let's dive in!

by Sylvia Douye
Illustrated by Paola Antista
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Middle Grade Fantasy / Graphic Novel
144 pages
ages 9 to 12

MAY 17th!!!

Welcome to the Island of Vorn, where mythical creatures roam free and only the brightest students are invited to study them. In Book 1 of this riveting new middle grade graphic novel series, a gifted young cryptozoologist-in-training must learn to tame powerful beasts—including her own inner demons.

For as long as she can remember, Sorceline has had a knack for the study of mythical creatures. Now a student at Professor Archibald Balzar’s prestigious school of cryptozoology, she’s eager to test her skills and earn a spot as one of Balzar’s apprentices.

But for all her knowledge of gorgons, vampires, and griffins, Sorceline is mystified by her fellow humans. While she excels in her studies, she quickly clashes with her classmates, revealing her fiery temper.

When one of her rivals suddenly disappears, Sorceline must set aside her anger and join the quest to find her. But the mystery only deepens, leading Sorceline on a journey far darker and more personal than she expected . . .



Imagination runs free as an exciting adventure unfolds from one page to the next.

Sorceline spends most of her time in the forest, learning and exploring. So, when she attends a school for cryptozoology, it's more than right down her line. The toughest problem she faces is the competition with the other students to become the best, which would mean a spot as one of the professor's apprentices. If that wasn't enough, a the other students are disappearing and several mythical creatures are suffering from weird diseases. Worse yet, Sorceline fears it might be her fault.

There's a reason this one has already doing well in French. It's a fantastical tale with amazing creatures, a determined heroine, and enough familiarity to make it still easy to connect to. The illustrations are a treat, especially the forest and nature seasons, where the mythical creatures are woven in. Fantasy fans will enjoy gazing at these pictures and find themselves dreaming. Of course, these are illustrations to follow the tale, and they do a wonderful job at that. The characters are presented with emotions and individual traits to deepen the text and expand on every moment.

The text flows very well and balances nicely with the illustrations. Some of the text is done in a type of italic font, which did make it a little more difficult to read, but it also slides right in with the atmosphere. The vocabulary and wording are well placed for the middle grade audience and keep the tension high. 

It's a fun story with adventure, secrets, tons of mythical beasts, friendship, and mystery too. In other words, this one is worth taking a glance at and more.

And here they are...

Sylvia Douyé holds a degree in biology and was a science journalist before she began writing graphic novels. Her first comic series for children, Les Zinzinventeurs, received the Children’s Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2002. She is also the author of the popular French comic series, Marie-Lune. 

Paola Antista is an Italian illustrator and comic artist. A graduate of Disney Academy, she began her career illustrating for magazines, educational books, and advertising agencies. She now teaches comic art in middle schools and high schools and is the illustrator of the Cats! graphic novel series.

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